Mobile Threat Defense Now A Necessity For Enterprises

Mobile Threat Defense, and more importantly, MTD as a service, could very likely become the most important and quickest growing enterprise mobility add-on function in 2018. And it’s for good reason.

Mobile malware is headed for historic highs, according to Gartner, who said in late 2017 the threats would rise from 7.5% now to nearly a third of total malware-related incidents in 2019. The fight to protect mobile devices will be forced to continue as well, with 30% of organizations putting an MTD in place by 2020 – an increase from under 10% in 2017.

Mobile malware grew more than 100% from 2015 to 2016, and as of March 2017, for the first time in history, there were more Android-based connections to the internet than Windows connections.

As enterprise mobility grows – and rapidly – the need for MTDs becomes clearer as it protects data at the device, application, and network levels. Most MTDs are focusing on iOS and Android platforms, with some spreading their way out to Windows operating systems as well.

But the need for the MTD isn’t just to implement a solution for the sake of doing so. Administrators of mobile operations and wide-ranging device fleets should be looking at MTDs as another line item in the security budget, bolting it on to existing device management or EMM solutions already in place – not to supplant those systems.

See related: The Most Widespread Mobile OS Is The Least Secure

As previously reported by Enterprise Mobility Exchange, data showed Android based mobile devices were most likely to become infected, with 65.8% of infected devices using that platform. Further, 27.96% of infected devices ran Windows, and Apple’s iOS saw infected devices account for 3.54% of the total.

For Android specifically, Nokia’s Alcatel-Lucent Kindsight Security Labs said that much of the complication stems from trojanized apps or applications that purport to be genuine, downloadable items, when in fact they’re corrupted and placed in third-party app stores. Sometimes, the apps carry out typical functions, but at their roots carry malicious code from whichever actors are behind the push.

And while the potential threat of a breach via mobile device hides around every corner for any enterprise, many are slow to add the solutions it truly needs, says Gartner.

“The lack of highly visible and successful mobile attacks against enterprises has not encouraged organizations to go beyond EMM to protect their mobile devices. Enterprise tend to underestimate the residual risk that can come from malicious threats, privileging approaches that can minimize data leakage,” the report stated.

In a recent interview with Enterprise Mobility Exchange, TechOrchard CEO Phil Poje said the entire mobile security suite should be top of mind for any mobile transformation or security practitioner.

See related: Enterprise Mobility Insight: Q&A With TechOrchard’s CEO

“Mobile security should be at the TOP of the list,” Poje said about 2018 priorities. “Mobile security through EMM, including MDM, MAM, MEM and IDM (Identity Management), in conjunction with Mobile Threat Prevention should be high on everyone’s list. Both pieces are critical to providing a comprehensive security solution. However, with the emergence of BYOD in the workplace, any security implementations can only be effective by bringing an acceptable level of productivity to the mobile worker in simplicity of use, while including a clearly communicated enterprise mobility policy and corporate purpose for mobility.” 

The need for mobile threat defense in 2018 is clear for any enterprise taking its mobile transformation journey seriously. The cost of a data breach far exceeds that of a solution, and any security practitioner will say a proactive strategy is far superior to a reactive one.